2501 South Blvd.: One of the great homes available in this historic area

Ever wish you’d bought on Swiss Avenue in the 1970s and 1980s, long before you needed nearly a million smackers to buy a mansion?  Well, step right up …

If Part One was a bit of a Cliff Notes version of the South Blvd and Park Row historic neighborhood, then this column gets you into the game.  While purchasing one of the current listings can’t be considered the “ground floor” of this burgeoning area, there’s still plenty of sweat to be turned into equity. For those truly seeking the ground floor, keep your eyes peeled one of the area’s derelict properties to hit the market.


Alamo Drafthouse is a likely tenant for the Lakewood Theater, but parking issues and rent price are sticking points. Photo: Mike Merrill

Alamo Drafthouse is a possible tenant for the historic Lakewood Theater in East Dallas, but parking issues and Alamo’s offered rent are proving problematic in negotiations. Photo: Mike Merrill

As we reported in January, the now-empty Lakewood Theater has an interested suitor, the Alamo Drafthouse, and negotiations are quite a ways along now.

Property co-owners Craig Kinney and Bill Willingham of Willingham-Rutledge talked to multiple restaurants and businesses that could fill the historic space in various incarnations, located at 1825 Abrams Pkwy. in East Dallas. It has stood empty since the last tenant’s lease ended at the end of January.

Things seemed most promising with Alamo Drafthouse, according to the Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate, but two issues are creating problems. And those issues could mean Lakewood Theater’s chances of staying a theater, and not getting broken up into multiple spaces, are at risk.

Built in 1938, Lakewood Theater is not protected by any official historic designation, and while the co-owners have verbalized their commitment to keeping the marquee intact, the interior is another story. If the Alamo Drafthouse doesn’t work out, “We have other options that may involve carving up the space. We just don’t know yet,” Kinney said back in November.  

But let’s get back to the current issues at hand.


Photo courtesy A. Vandalay via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy A. Vandalay via Creative Commons

The lease for the current tenants of Lakewood Theater is over at the end of January, and it’s anybody’s guess what will happen to the beloved East Dallas landmark, but there are confirmed rumors of interest by Alamo Drafthouse.

As we reported last November with our story Lakewood Theater Makeover Concerns Preservationists, Neighbors, property co-owners Craig Kinney and Bill Willingham of Willingham-Rutledge have been talking to restaurants and businesses that could fill the space, located at 1825 Abrams Pkwy.

Two theater groups have expressed interest, and one of them is the Alamo Drafthouse, confirmed Kinney, who also co-owns surrounding properties in the southwest strip.

“We’ve talked to everybody,” Kinney told Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky.  The situation remains, though, “Nobody’s committed. So I can’t tell you whether they’re interested or not.”

Wilonsky also talked to Alamo Drafthouse COO Bill DiGaetano, who wouldn’t confirm any plans on the record, but emphasized his company’s interest preserving in historic theaters.

“Alamo has a policy not to comment on real estate negotiations, whether real or fictional,” he told Wilonsky. “But we have a long history of preserving 35mm film and, as shown by our Ritz Theater in downtown Austin and the current restoration of the New Mission Theater in downtown San Francisco, we have a huge passion for preserving great classic movie houses. I personally love the Lakewood Theater and would love to see it stay a theater.”

DiGaetano also made a point of addressing what seems to be the biggest concern of neighbors and preservationists: the colorful tower. “If anything came to fruition, we wouldn’t touch the marquee or the tower.” Jump to read more!


Photo by Jerry McClure/Dallas Morning News

Photo by Jerry McClure/Dallas Morning News

The Lakewood Theater has stood as a colorful and beloved East Dallas landmark in Lakewood Shopping Center since its 1938 opening. So recent news reported by Nancy Nichols at D Magazine that the theater, located at 1825 Abrams Parkway, will be getting new tenants and a new look next year has preservationists and neighbors concerned. This is because the theater has historic designation (in other words, protection from demolition) on neither a national nor local level.



Photos: Shoot2Sell

Britt Lopez has done it again. She’s scored an amazing listing in one of East Dallas’ most sought-after neighborhoods. Not only that, this is one of the coolest little storybook Tudors at 710 Monte Vista Dr., with a great front porch and fantastic interiors. It’s also inside the Lakewood Elementary attendance area, a total bonus!


2113 Mangum Front

If you love historic details with modern amenities, you’re going to adore this amazing home in Hunt County. This house, which now has its own historic marker, is simply gorgeous thanks to all the work the sellers have put in. Stained glass, period light fixtures, and beautiful millwork make this home a feast for the eyes.

But what I really love about this home is the care put into the outbuildings, which include a workshop made to look like an old storefront and a the original barn made into a guesthouse. The price, well, it’s going to blow your mind, too. Listed by the Patty Turner Group, the 3.5 acre property at 2113 Mangum in Commerce is priced at $478,000.


Lots of young folks moving to Oak Cliff are looking for a charming older home with great bones. They’re looking for fixer-uppers, diamonds in the rough, and plenty of room for sweat equity.

To me, however, that sounds like a lot of work. (If that makes me sound lazy, well, color me guilty.)

If I were looking for a home in Oak Cliff, I’d snag one of these adorable Winnetka Heights Craftsman bungalows where someone else has poured in the blood, sweat, and trips to the hardware store so I don’t have to. So you can see why 122 S. Rosemont Ave. is so appealing to me. And at $229,000, it is an incredible value.

Nevermind the curb appeal. I love the bright colors on the siding! It has so much character and literally makes me smile just by looking at it. I love the attention to detail, especially with the dentil trim and the railings on the adorable front porch.

Inside it’s just as bright and easy on the eyes. The living room is incredibly well lit and has a cute fireplace, too. There are wonderful and well-preserved built-ins, and French doors, too. I am sure Crystal Gonzalez of David Griffin & Company Realtors loved how much light and impact this home lends right when prospective buyers walk through the door!


Of course, I gauge a lot of my feelings about a home after seeing the kitchen. This house is no slouch in that department, with a top-to-bottom remodel including stainless fixtures, granite, tile, and super clean cabinets.


Both baths in this three-bedroom, two-bath home have been updated, too. There’s new hardwoods throughout, and fully redone electrical. If you’re buying a home that was built in the 1920s, you’re going to want to have a professional rewire it as this has been.

Now, the backyard has a great little deck, but otherwise it’s a blank slate. I can see some enterprising amateur gardener taking this on and turning it into a blanket of color. It’d be a great place for a chicken coop, too!

A word about the neighborhood: Winnetka Heights is probably one of the most active neighborhoods in all of Dallas. It is very well organized and has a Facebook page that’s more like a soundingboard than a neighborhood group. Because it’s a city-designated Historic District, you can count on stability as far as what the homes around you are going to look like in 10 or 20 years.

Also, there’s been a resurgence in parental participation in Oak Cliff schools, and for parents of young kids there’s the Rosemont Early Childhood PTA, which is the oldest PTA in the state of Texas.

Add to that the close proximity to the Bishop Arts District and West Davis Street, as well as the growing and changing Jefferson Boulevard area and, well, all you need is a new bike and you’ll never have to leave 75208!